Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has defended goalkeeper David Raya from recent criticism, although he admitted there is added pressure playing for a big club.
Raya joined the Gunners on an initial £3m loan deal from Brentford in the summer transfer window, with a £27m option to make the signing permanent at the end of the season.
Having first worked as Aaron Ramsdale’s assistant, Raya was named in Arsenal’s starting XI for the first time in their 1-0 win over Everton in September and has started every Premier League and Champions League game since.
However, the Spain international has come under fire since being brought off the bench and was particularly poor in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Saturday, giving the ball away cheaply from the back and receiving a pass from Mykhailo Mudryk. The away fans chanted Ramsdale’s name in the second half with the Gunners two goals down.
Raya was captured by Mudryk / JUSTIN TALLIS / GettyImages
In a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League group stage match between Arsenal and Sevilla, Arteta was asked if he thought Raya suffered from such intense scrutiny.
“I haven’t seen it. To be fair, I haven’t seen it at all,” Arteta replied.
“There is the pressure of playing at big clubs where you have to win and you have to be at your best and you have someone next to you who is pushing you every single day.
“If we go player by player, position by position, you tell me what’s happening at left back, what’s happening at center back.
“You already asked Jorginho a question and Gabriel Jesus is here, there is another question about that. That’s the debate.
“That’s also the beauty of the game. The fact that you have other options as well will make those talks more frequent.”
Arteta previously indicated that he does not have a permanent number one goalkeeper and he may even switch between Raya and Ramsdale in mid-game, but in the end he will not just fall for mistakes.
“It depends on where it comes from,” he continued. Someone from football, when mistakes are part of football and mistakes happen, from defenders, from forwards and from goalkeepers. Definitely not [realistic to expect a change every time].”
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